Felt amazing running uphill in the 8s at times with no perceived oxygen intake issues. All was good until I came around a corner running the tangent (close to the edge) and I suddenly looked down by my feet and about pissed myself!
Just laying right there right on the side of the trail. I did not scream like a girl and jump in the air to the other side of the trail with my hands in the air. That was some other guy.
At that moment, I believed this was a rattlesnake. Click on the first picture and view the large image version. They are common at this park. But it didn’t seem to have the flat head that is a trademark of rattlers. So I wasn’t sure. When I got back to the hotel, I think I figured out that this was a California Kingsnake. They eat rattlesnakes, hence the King title. However, none of the images online showed a tail with those yellow-ish rattles on them so that left me a bit confused. So I believe I still remain rattler free in my running. I watched him move up the trail then turn across and proceed down and into the grassy field.
UPDATE: After the post went up, I got a comment posted and a co-worker confirmation that this was indeed what I had thought — and the variety was a Western Diamondback. The colors and markings look much more inline upon review. The tail went from a blend of brown to those white/black rings at the end. Plus, I had seen the yellow rattles. Feels like a perfect match. So I am no longer a rattler virgin!
The 3 miles flew by and I was really moving well today. Felt hard and with purpose. There were lots of people hiking near the top so that added the extra motivation to push hard and look even crazier. Made the final scramble and hit the pole and my watch in 32:44. That’s about a 40 second PR. It felt like I was going to take minutes off the total from the way I was working but it didn’t turn out that way. I probably had a little more to give but it was a big confidence booster to finally PR something that I know I am turning some solid times on.
Summer is here. The hillside is brown again. That was always a bummer when I lived here. These were so green and plush in the spring. Oh well. At least the recovery food is 5 star!
I went 5.81 miles with an elevation gain of 2,089 feet in 00:55:55, which is an average pace of 09:37. Heart rate average was 163. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.